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Insecticide Resistance Threatens Malaria Control Efforts, WHO Warns

“Malaria-carrying mosquitoes in Africa and India are becoming resistant to insecticides, putting millions of lives at greater risk and threatening eradication efforts, health experts said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 5/15). Experts fear resistance “could reverse the recent drop in malaria mortality credited to insecticide spraying in the home and coating of bed nets, which save about 220,000 children’s lives each year, according to the WHO,” Nature writes, adding, “Insecticide resistance could also result in as many as 26 million further cases a year, the organization predicts, costing an extra $30 million to $60 million annually for tests and medicines” (Maxmen, 5/15).

“Publishing a plan to help countries tackle the threat, the World Health Organization’s global malaria program said resistance had been detected in 64 countries,” Reuters notes. “WHO’s new global plan has a five point strategy, which the organization calculates will cost around $200 million” a year, and includes implementing insecticide resistance management strategies in malaria endemic countries; entomological and resistance monitoring and effectively managing data; developing new, innovative vector control tools; filling knowledge gaps “on mechanisms of insecticide resistance and the effects of current insecticide resistance management approaches”; and ensuring that enabling mechanisms, such as financial resources, are established, BMJ writes (Moszynski, 5/15).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.